What did I miss?

Bella the painter

I confess. I took a computer break for a few days to do a bit of painting and house maintenance and now I’m catching up on the food world. The photo is my Bella helping with the paint project.

Here’s what I missed:

I’m going to be arrested for having a garden? There is blogger outrage all over the place regarding House of Representative Bill HR 875. Basically it applies the same rules for industrially grown foods as it does for small, local farmers. Clearly the monetary burden for complying with just the record keeping rules will kill off small farms, but if the FDA can’t even police the industrial sized food producers (think peanut butter) why all the fuss? What are the chances of Jane the Farmer being inspected for her organic carrot crop?

The Well at the NY Times is asking what kitchen gadget do you covet most? A garlic skinner, a peanut butter mixer, an oil sprayer, a $50 spring loaded chopper (spring loaded?? I’d be fingerless in minutes) or an herb saver (hello, juice glass with some water in the fridge works great). Now, my friend Mitch at Tasty Travails probably has more gadgets per square inch than most, and even he’s not going to pop for an avocado saver!   Gourmet Worrier in Australia is pleased as punch with a silicone egg poacher. Now, I confess, I really, really like silicone molds, they are so much fun to play with.

There is yet another book about foie gras? Why aren’t people as riled up about Smithfield hams as they are about foie gras? You want to talk nasty, inhumane treatment; a Smithfield pig farm is my ultimate nightmare.

And it looks like fat is ‘in’. Articles about lard and even a book dedicated to fat. Look: fat = flavor. Eat in moderation and be happy.

I can’t even imagine what I would miss if I stayed away from the computer for a whole week.


  1. mitch on March 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Hmmmm, I just threw away half an avocado – maybe I just have to eat them more quickly or make more guacamole.

    The hand chopper has to be the biggest waste to anyone who knows how to use a knife.

    Now the peanut butter mixer sounds really interesting…when baking, I generally buy Skippy, since it’s already mixed up, but I always end up cursing at the Smucker’s Natural, and it’s only $10 after all…

  2. JudithKlinger on March 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Good questions Elizabeth, and I’ve had the same thoughts myself. Obviously if food is being sold to the public there must be rules and oversight, but should it be at the same level of requirements that large agro-businesses must follow? From what I’ve read, the record keeping burden for a small farm would be so far out of proportion to what is actually needed that it would put them out of business. Similar to what farmers who want organic status are facing; the cost of being certified organic are beyond what is financially feasible that farmers don’t even try for the certification. (Which probably is the reason why ‘certified organic’ seems like nothing more than a hazy marketing scheme for large corporations.)
    My other concern is that the bill is being sponsored by a woman who is married to a Monsanto executive. Now that is a knee jerk, not substantiated in anyway response, but I still have to say it makes me feel uncomfortable.
    Banning home made cakes so we can have processed, industrial cake…now, there’s a bill to be proud of! What are people thinking???

  3. Elizabeth on March 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Did you see “The World According to Monsanto?” USDA and FDA are not to be trusted, either. Yet.

    So, I’d be as suspicious as you are about the bill and motivation.

    I know great farmers who use primarily organic practices, but don’t bother w certification; some market patrons won’t buy their stuff because it isn’t organic, so you are preaching to the choir.

    Still, I think there must be a sensible way to deal w food safety standards.

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